Moving from Corporate Strategy to PE/VC (w/ IBD background) - Thoughts? Has anyone done this before?

Hi everyone! Does anyone have any thoughts about the likelihood / how possible it is to move from Corporate Strategy to PE (maybe VC) when I have an IB background? Has anyone made a similar move?

For some context, I recently started a role in Corporate Strategy at a high-growth, pretty well-known (at least to millennials/Gen Z) tech company and have been on the job for ~3 months. Before that, I was a first year associate in IB at a top three BB (GS, MS, JPM), having been promoted after my 2 years as an analyst. I also graduated from a top-tier undergrad target school. I didn't do the traditional path of recruiting directly into PE after starting in IB because, at the time, I wasn't sure if I wanted to be in IB long-term or if I wanted to do something else. I decided about 3-4 months before I left IB that I wanted to either A) move into PE/VC (more-so PE) and focus on tech investing, or B) do Corporate Strategy/Corporate Development for a tech company. I ultimately pursued Option B because my coverage in IB wasn't tech-focused, and I felt like I needed to understand the business/operations side of tech if I was to be an effective investor (if I decided that really I wanted to do investing), especially if I wanted to do VC.

I'm starting to get the feeling that Corporate Strategy might not be the long-term option for me since I do miss the deal-making and technical side of finance, so I'm starting to think about how I might start recruiting for PE/VC. Has anyone else made a similar move or know of others who have done so? Does it work the same way as traditional PE/VC recruiting that's typically conducted via headhunters and networking? What are people's thoughts about making a move like this? Right now, I'm leaning more towards PE.

Comments (3)

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 5, 2021 - 1:52am

You have a good chance with VC I'd say, not so much with PE imo. Not sure how common it is, but I've seen some people go Top Tier IB -> Top Tech Corp Dev/Strat -> VC. PE is a lot more rigid in recruiting from IB so your chance there is really slim I would think. With a good amount of networking, combined with your pedigree, I could see you making the move over to VC with a bit of luck. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Apr 5, 2021 - 11:44am

I am also considering joining Corp Strat after my 2 year IB stint, can you share the type of work you do?

Apr 7, 2021 - 2:51pm
joshsalisbury, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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